Paul 3rd in Iowa
Not the result he’d hoped for, and while I didn’t think he could win the GOP nomination anyway I felt it would at least have steered things in a different direction. How much is down to the accusations of racism in the distant past and how much to him not being seen as Republican enough (though I suspect Ron Paul himself would claim, perhaps justifiably, that he’s the only real Republican out of the lot) I can only speculate, and I really don’t know enough about US politics even to do that. At the moment it’s reported that Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum are 1st and 2nd, though it’s as tight as a duck’s arse, and that “Santorum takes splits Evangelical vote with Paul” (sic). If that’s saying the Santorum did well because the evangelical crowd voted for him instead of Paul I can believe it but I’m not all that they were expected to vote for Paul in the first place. This isn’t like choosing between two people with broadly similar positions on most things and then picking one over the other due to one of the few areas they do differ. They may both be fiscal conservatives but from where I sit that seems to be about where it ends. Santorum is a social conservative appealing to the religious right (who’ll surely vote Republican in November anyway) while Paul is socially fairly liberal. Perhaps it’s my remoteness leading to an inability to understand the subtleties but if these were candidates here in Oz or in the UK there’s no way in hell both would even be on my radar – if I was the kind who’d support Santorum I’d never even consider Paul and, more realistically, vice versa.
So, no new direction for the Republican race at the moment, and unless Paul can achieve a more unexpected victory elsewhere probably not at all. Does this make it more likely that November will see stock GOP candidate vs Obama, and what does that mean for the real competition?